We Are Columbine

It’s been 15 years since 2,000 students got up and went to school like they were supposed to on a spring morning, a Tuesday after prom weekend. That school day fourteen of them and a teacher died, and most were traumatized for life.

After the shootings the word “remember” appeared everywhere. Remember the students and teacher who were killed. Remember so that we can share and somehow ease the pain of their parents and loved ones. Remember and so create a collective consciousness that binds us together forever. Remember and do what we can to prevent such tragedies.

Now the students who attended Columbine High School on that day are disbursed into the city and the world, but many of us in the community remain. Each year on April 20th we experience remembered pain.

Part of the work of remembering is making sense of an event. Perhaps we discover there is no sense to be found in it, but we can come to a peace with it. Often this is what personal history attempts to do—not record a whole life, but take the life-changing moments and say, “This is what happened, and it changed my life in this way,” so that people after us are included in the remembering.

Copyright © 2013 by Mary Beth Lagerborg